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All Work and No Play?: Listening to What Kids and Parents Really Want from Out-of-School Time

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In this survey of teens and parents, Public Agenda found the vast majority of students regularly participate in organized activities in their out-of-school time. Most students believe kids who participate are better off than those who don't. But there are stark differences in the experiences of low-income and minority parents, who are much more likely to say they have trouble finding high-quality, convenient and affordable activities for their children. While the policy debate revolves around whether after-school programs improve academic achievement, that isn't the first thing that comes to mind for either parents or students we surveyed. Low-income and minority parents, however, are considerably more likely to want activities that emphasize academics.